Tag Archives: granitic flatrocks

Low Spearwort – Ranunculus pusillus – at the Mitchell Mill State Natural Area

Low Spearwort (Ranunculus pusillus) is a common inhabitant of wet and marshy lowlands and ditches in North Carolina, especially in the Central Piedmont and Coastal Plain.  It is a native plant, and a member of the large Buttercup family, the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Portulaca smallii (Small’s Purslane) at the Mitchell Mill State Natural Area

Portulaca smallii (Small’s Purslane) is a rare, protected plant, endemic to the thin soils of granite flatrocks and outcrops in the Piedmont regions of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina (a single site) and Georgia.  The Mitchell Mill State Natural Area contains … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Late Fall Germination of Diamorpha smallii (Elf Orpine)

It is early on a bright, sunny morning in late November on the granitic flatrocks of the Mitchell Mill State Natural Area. Following a hard overnight freeze, sheets of ice cover the depression pools formed on the surface of the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Granitic Flatrocks and Leaf Shape

The granitic flatrock ecosystem imposes harsh conditions on the resident plant communities in the heat of summer. Plant foliage must tolerate intense sunlight from the open sky, and reflected light and heat from the rock surface. Thin, narrow foliage is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diamorpha smallii (Elf Orpine) in Late Winter

The granitic flatrocks of the Mitchell Mill State Natural Area are colorful on a late winter day, with red colonies of Diamorpha smallii scattered across a background of dark green mosses and light green lichens. The plants are currently in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helianthus porteri at Mitchell Mill

In The Natural Gardens of North Carolina, B. W. Wells describes eleven major natural communities in North Carolina, each with discrete ecological habitats.  Dr. Wells also states in the introduction to the book, “Close observation within these various communities discloses … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment